By Otto
August 17, 2011

Today is a Special Day That We Are Not Allowed to Talk About here. But I wanted to share some things I love about my wife.

  • She convinced me to try coffee again.
  • She (occasionally) laughs at my bad jokes.
  • She is the bargain queen, letting us live well above our means.
  • She is a tireless advocate for our kids, even when it is physically and mentally exhausting.
  • She is teaching me to be more patient as I struggle with the, uh, idiosyncrasies of having a female teenager in our home.
  • Three words: Beer Cheese Bread.
  • While she’s asked me not to sing in the car anymore, that only applies when she’s in it.
  • She packs a lunch for me every day.
  • Her sense of humor is (almost) as dry as mine.
  • She can keep a secret.
  • The way she makes a skirt flow as she walks across a room is glorious.
  • Her voice when she sings.
  • After a particularly challenging day, her dinner blessings are spot on.
  • She will always say yes when asked to help.
  • She is always looking for ways to help others, even when she doesn’t realize it.
  • No matter how poorly a project goes around the house, she finds a way to make it funny.
  • She buys me circus peanuts when we head out on the road and tries one on every trip, just to remind herself that she despises them.
  • Whenever I’ve had a rough day, she always quietly asks me how I’m doing as we lay in the dark talking.
  • She reminds me that no matter how badly I want to, I can’t fix everything.
  • She understands that my relationships with my family are both simplistic and complex – complex because of a long history but simplistic because I want a sort of normalcy that no family ever has.
  • She brought me the best in-laws you could ask for.
  • Her mad painting and texturing skills gave us the most awesome dining room.
  • Her sarcasm cuts through tension like a laser beam through warm butter.
  • Copious amounts of popcorn are, for her, a great way to end a day.
  • She loves Deadliest Catch as much as I do.
  • She lets me drive.
  • She only occasionally gives me a hard time about the old car in the garage.
  • She’s teaching me to be a better, more involved parent every day.
  • She accepts that when I have a bad day at work, I may just need to go butcher a tree to get out the frustration.
  • If I slack off on the yard work for a week or three, she doesn’t say a thing.
  • She wants to be a better friend to everyone she knows.
  • She helps me understand the small boy in the house, because, some days, I am just baffled.
  • She can still be surprised.
  • She fell in love with Dar Williams, too.
  • Her ability to grow food is really cool.
  • And her homemade garlic and onion tomato sauce can’t be beat.
  • When my colleagues ask her to help in their classes, she always says yes.
  • She never asks me to do laundry. Because she knows I’ll screw hers up.
  • If I need to wander down some dirt roads with my friends, she only asks me to come back when we’re done.
  • She wants me to be happier. But she doesn’t realize the happier you are, the harder it is to be happier. And I’m pretty happy.

Happy Birthday to my best friend, you are my favorite.


  1. Diane

    Happy Birthday, Mir, and many, many more (since your are only 17, right?)

    Birthday blessings seem to be overkill, as it is obvious you’ve the greatest blessing of all in your husband!

  2. emily

    I loved reading what you wrote, Otto. It just solidifies what is always evident through the words and stories she shares with us – that Mir is truly an amazing, thoughtful, loving person.

    Happy birthday, Mir – I hope it’s a wonderful day!

  3. Laura

    What a great way to start the day, I have tears in my eyes. Happy birthday, now go give Otto a huge hug and kiss for that beautiful present.

  4. birchsprite

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday! What a glorious family you all are!

    He’s a keeper.

  5. Sara

    Many, many happy returns of the day, Mir! And way to go, Otto!

  6. Mom24@4evermom

    Awww. Happy Birthday Mir. Thank you for what you bring to my life. I hope it’s a great year.

  7. nae


  8. Christine H

    Happy Birthday! That was one of the sweetest birthday “cards” I’ve ever read.

  9. Megan

    Yup, Otto totally brought it! Happy birthday, Mir!

  10. Mir

    You’re my favorite. Thanks for starting off this morning (and every other) by letting me know how loved and lucky I am.

    (Now let’s make out and see if the Internet screams “GET A ROOM!” like the kids do.)

  11. Brigid

    Happy Birthday Mir!! (Could you make one of your wishes for the world to get a few more Otto-like folks in it? You get to keep the original, if course.)

  12. Navhelowife

    Happy Birthday Mir, and Blessings to you both. What a lovely post on who you are, Mir, who Otto is – as seen by his appreciation of you, and who you are as a ‘team’.

  13. cheryl

    Wow. Sounds like you’re already having a happy birthday, but I shall add my greetings anyway … Happy Birthday to an amazing writer! Thanks for blogging for us, Mir, and for being a bright spot in our days.

  14. Karate Mom

    Happy birthday, awesome Mir! I can already tell it’s going to be a great one for you!

  15. Average Jane

    Happy birthday! What a wonderful present.

  16. Jenna

    Happy Birthday Mir! What an awesome tribute, Otto. Fabulous!

  17. Janet

    This was, without question, the best thing I’ve read on the internet in weeks. Otto, you Rocko! Mir, SEE YOU SOON!! :)

  18. Kelly

    Aww that husband sure is a keeper. So incredibly sweet & wonderful.
    Happy Birthday!!!!!

  19. MaryP

    I heart Otto. What a lovely, thoughtful, beautiful gift. Happy Birthday, Mir!

  20. Mary

    Happy Birthday, Mir! Now you two, go get a room!

  21. Tenessa


    Happy Birthday!!

  22. Leandra

    Awww! Love it! Happy Birthday, pretty lady! May this year be everything you could hope for!

  23. aem2

    Happy birthday! I hope this coming year brings you much joy and just a little bit of drama; you know, for the funny.

  24. Christy

    Happy Birthday Mir! I shall share the words of a famous author, Sandra Boynton. (What? I have a one year old!). “Here’s to a child who is joyful and clever. Happy Day! Happy year! Happy always and ever!”

    Have a great one.

  25. SillyMe

    Happy Birthday!

  26. Debbi

    Happy Birthday Mir!! And Otto, you rock!!! :-)

  27. Lara

    Happy birthday Mir! Hope you have a great day. Going through some issues here so I haven’t posted for awhile but I’ve been lurking and I wanted to add to your birthday good wishes that I am so glad for you all that you found a school solution for Monkey that you are comfortable with :) Happy, happy birthday!
    P.S. Otto, you rock ;)

  28. Lindsey

    Happy Birthday Mir! Some of the best people have August birthdays! Otto is obviously an exception. He’s wonderful!

  29. Mandy

    Otto’s awesome. He and your dad make me think there ARE some nice guys left in the world. I’m glad you have them in your life.

    Happy Birthday!

  30. Karen R.

    Awww. Happy birthday, Mir!

  31. Momsy

    Happy birthday to pretty, pretty Mir!

  32. Jen

    Happiest of birthdays, Mir! You deserve every lovely little blessing you get. :-)

  33. RuthWells

    So awesome. Happy birthday, dear Mir!

  34. Jen

    Happy Birthday Mir, wonder Mom, super Spouse, turner of the even the mundane into the hilarious, in life and in print. You and Otto give me hope that as a (newly) single mom, the possibility for a wonderful relationship actually exists. Hug your kids, make out like crazy with that awesome man of yours, scratch your puppy behind the ears and have a fantastic day. Most of all, don’t ever stop writing.

  35. Deirdre

    I heart Otto, too. Definitely a keeper. Have a very Happy Birthday, Mir! (And my daughter will happily point out that it’s Dustin Pedroia’s birthday, too.)

  36. ccr in MA

    Otto, that’s awesome. Happy birthday, Mir, you lucky person.

  37. Beth

    Otto…that was awesome. Can you email my husband and tell him that wives really like stuff like this? K, thanks.

    Mir, I wish you the happiest of birthdays that includes laughter, love, and happiness — pretty sure you’ve got that covered in spades. :)

  38. Suzy

    Happy Birthday! What a great way to start the day and your birthday year.

  39. Elizabeth

    Hippo birdie to ewe!!! Hope your day is wonderful!

  40. BKC

    Happy Birthday Mir! Your writing is always a sunny spot in my day. I hope your birthday and all the rest of the days are sunny too.

  41. Katie in MA

    Awwwww! Happy Birthday, Mir! Wishing you a happy, magical, peaceful, and hilarious year. :)

  42. Crisanne

    Happy Birthday, Mir!! I hope you have a wonderful day, and an even better year ahead!! What’s so awesome about this list?? Even someone like me, who only knows you through the internet, can agree how completely true it is. Thank you for sharing your love for those around you with all of us!

  43. Jenny

    Leos roar! Happy birthday!

  44. el-e-e

    happy, happy birthday, Mir! You’re so pretty!

  45. Jill W.

    Happy birthday, Mir!

    and great post, Otto!

  46. Headless Mom

    Happy Day, Mir.

    Um, Otto? You made me cry. I think that is the sweetest thing I’ve ever read. Ever.

    And Mir? If you’re not putting on a skirt today just for him? I’ll be so disappointed.

  47. Amanda

    All of them were awesome, but number 11 got me right here……

    Reading these just makes me want to be besties with you Mir.

    Happiest of happys Mir!

  48. Lisa

    “The way she makes a skirt flow as she walks across a room is glorious.”

    You know that’s code for he likes, really likes, your badonkadonk!

    Happy Birthday!

  49. Maria

    These are just the best! I would treasure them for always. Happy Birthday!!

  50. Jamie


  51. Angela

    Happy Happy birthday!!!

  52. Brenda

    That was far and away the best post I’ve read in a long time. Happy birthday, Mir!!

  53. laura

    Happy birthday! This post made me smile, wear a skirt, and wish I was driving instead of my husband!

  54. Chuck

    What an awesome post! Hope you have an equally awesome birthday celebration.

  55. diane

    Thank you for making me cry in my coffee, Otto. (whispers: Happy Birthday Mir!)

  56. Chris

    Best wishes for a great birthday! (and kudos to Otto for the wonderful birthday card/present)

  57. hollygee

    Happy Birthday, Mir!
    Good on you, Otto!

  58. Jen

    My husband HATES Otto. He sets a high, high bar for men everywhere. You are extremely lucky! Happy Birthday, Mir!

  59. Dani

    Oh my goodness, I had no idea that we share a birthday, Mir! That makes me like your blog even more! And this Otto post… makes me LOVE it even more! Happy happy birthday… I hope it’s grand!

  60. Zilla

    Happy Birthday to you, Mir! Loved reading this post, thanks Otto!! You are a keeper.

  61. dad

    I knew I liked that boy!

  62. Lori N

    It’s Love Thursday, right?

  63. elz

    I don’t know what to say first- How wonderful Otto is or Happy Birthday. I’ll say both-Happy Birthday, my friend. I am blessed to have you in my life, even if you don’t live anywhere near me. Go have some gluten free cake and a great make-out session!

  64. Shelley

    Happy birthday!

  65. Lisa

    Happy Birthday Mir!
    Otto made me cry :)

  66. Natasha

    Happy birthday Mir!!!

    If you didn’t immediately put on a skirt after reading this, then I’m sorely disappointed ;)

  67. Christine

    Three cheers for Mir! Happy Birthday! Otto paints such a beautiful picture of you, he really put into words everything I think about you when I’m reading your stories. I feel like I am the one getting a gift to “know” you, so I am especially thankful for the day you were born.

  68. Jan in Norman, OK

    This is your birthday song!
    It isn’t very long!

    (To the tune of “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-di-Ay”.)

  69. JP

    Happy Birthday, Mir! That boy Otto is a keeper!

  70. Beth R

    Happy happy birthday, Mir!

    And thank you for sharing how you see her, Otto – that was really special :)

  71. Melissa

    Happy Birthday – what a sweet present!

  72. Katie in CA

    Happy Happy Birthday from the Friday’s crew! Oh, wait, wrong song. Happy Birdthday, anyway! May you get to eat WHATEVER you want today, calorie free. And your hair, especially pretty today.

    Otto, that was just plain awesome!

  73. Rachel

    Happy Birthday Mir! Otto’s lucky to have you, and you’re luck to have him. =)

  74. Scottsdale Girl

    I am not even gonna read comments today, because I am already tearing up and snuffling at the beautiful sentiments by OTTO.

    Happies Berfdays Mir!

  75. Jodie

    Happy birthday, Mir. And thanks Otto – totally got the tears going on my morning commute!

  76. Hally

    Happy Birthday Mir – You’re pretty! But Otto gets the BIG pretty points today. Good job snagging such a catch. Enjoy this day, better yet…enjoy your 25th bday again. :)

  77. Heidi

    Circus peanuts? Whoa, now THAT’S love.

  78. liz

    Happy Birthday, Mir!

  79. Sharon

    Have an amazing birthday, Mir!

  80. Annie

    That was so cool. Happy Birthday Mir, and way to go Otto !

  81. Andrea

    Happy Happy Birthday, Mir! Hope you have a wonderful day with your amazing family!

  82. Jessica

    When my husband says nice things about me, the people I’ve worked with always ask how I got such a “catch.” I’m sure you hear the same things, from reading this list. Instead of calling these guys “catches,” maybe we should just expect this kind of thing from guys. On the other hand, I know how lucky I am to be so in love and to have someone so in love with me as well, and I don’t take it for granted at all. Maybe that’s the key, because I’ll bet you rarely take this kind of thing for grated either.

    (Oh, and c’mon, let him sing even if you’re in the car! Love is hearing your spouse sing terribly and still loving it just because it’s his/her voice. ;) )


  83. Jennifer Joyner

    Happy, happy, happy birthday Mir!!!!

    You are hands down my favorite blogger on the planet….my day isn’t complete until I get to check in on what’s happening with you.

    You’ve been handed more than your share of challenges in the past year, and I, along with your vast audience, am pulling for you and demanding the fates to cut you a break and let the sunshine in.

    And then I read Otto’s post and I am reminded that in the husband department, your life couldn’t be any brighter.

    Hugs and warm wishes for you!!!

  84. Aimee

    Awwwttomatic for the people! Otto wins birthdays!

    This is so awesome in every way.

    Happy Birthday, Mir! I hope the day and the year bring you many blessings.

  85. jodifur

    Happy Birthday Mir. Thank you for never failing to answer one of my bat shit crazy emails. You are one of my favorite people on the whole wide web.

  86. Samantha

    How delightful!

  87. Leah

    Happy Birthday!!!

  88. Katherine

    Happy Birtday Mir! I hope the rest of your day comes close to being as wonderful as Otto’s list! And tha t you GET A ROOM!

  89. Crista

    Happy Birthday Mir!! I think you have the only present you’ll ever need for the rest of your life, right there in that Otto.

  90. Lucinda

    We all think you are amazing even though you only show us a small % of your life so it’s not like our judgement can be objective. But Otto sees it all and he clearly thinks you are amazing too. So it just confirms what we already know but in a truly spectacular, tear-inducing kind of way. I only hope those closest to me could say even half as much about me. Happy birthday Mir. Here’s to entering the next amazing decade of life! May you have many, many more happy years.

  91. My Kids Mom

    Congratulations for making it through the first forty. It only gets better! (That really should be the motto for all of life’s difficulties)

  92. Sharon

    Happy Birthday!!

  93. Billie

    Happy Happy Birthday!!

  94. Andrea

    May the year ahead be as happy as the birthday you’re having today!

    You and Otto make me wish I had a long-lost old male friend from college I could reconnect with and get a love letter like that on my birthday from (OK, that is a really bad sentence structure but I think you get the idea). Of course, I went to an all girls school so I strongly suspect that’s not in the cards for me.

    Happy birthday and many more…

  95. Monique

    Happy birthday!!!! Hope it’s a good one! God bless!

  96. Julie in Austin

    Happy Birthday Mir!! It sounds like you are off to a roaring start! Welcome to the 40s! It’s nice here! =)

  97. Stacy

    Happy Birthday, Mir!!!! I hope you have a great year full of love and laughter.

  98. Fabs

    Happy Birthday Mir! You are blessed to have such a wonderful family and support group!!!

  99. Sheila

    Otto, you are a gen-u-ine Good Egg.

  100. Jean

    Really, really great post, Otto! Happiest of birthdays, Mir!

  101. TC

    SOBBING. (Happy birthday, Mir.)

  102. Angela

    Happy Birthday Mir! And thanks to Otto for sharing her with us, and some of yourself, too!

  103. Tracy B

    I ♥ Otto! ♪♫♪Happy Birthday, Mir!!♪♫♪ Oh, I love circus peanuts, too! ☺

  104. Katie

    Awesome list! Happy Birthday Mir!

  105. Lynn in Mass

    I really enjoyed reading that from Otto. How sweet.

    Happy Birthday, Mir!

  106. Jeanie

    Otto, what a wonderful tribute to your wife. She is lucky to have you. Well, you’re lucky to have each other. Happy Birthday, Mir!

  107. abbeyviolet

    Happy Birthday! What a sweet list!

  108. Debbie

    Nice post, Otto! Happy birthday, Mir!!!

  109. Heather

    Otto, you are a big ol sap. And it’s wonderful :) I liked the one about the glorious skirt swishing heh. One day I hope I can have someone to say lovely things like that about me!

  110. PopC

    Way to go, Otto.

    Happy Birthday Mir.

    And, it isn’t even “Love Thursday”!

    P.S. I love circus peanuts too.

  111. traci

    Happy Birthday, Mir!!!

  112. Heather

    Happy birthday to yoooooouuuuuuu!

  113. amy

    Awwwww!!! <3

  114. Rachael

    Aw! Too sweet! Happy birthday, I hope that your husband takes you out for a very special day! :)

  115. Wendy

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday Mir, I hope you had a fanastic day for a fantastic lady.

    And I Love this post.

  116. karen

    Happy Birthday, Mir.

    Can I have Otto now, my turn?

    Seriously… this is real love. The keeping kind. Otto, bravo … what an awesome tribute to the woman you share popcorn and circus peanuts with. Well maybe not those. Yuck.

  117. Karin

    Happy Birthday Mir! You and Otto deserve each other and I mean that in the best possible way.

  118. carrie on

    I hope your birthday crossword is mind blowingly awesome!

  119. Rinatta

    Happy Birthday Mir. The world is a brighter, funnier place with you in it! Also, does Otto have a single brother?

  120. liv

    happy birthday, mir! hope you had a fantabulous day. also? i think i love you a little bit more now that i know you and otto like dar. i luuuurve dar!

  121. addy

    Happy Birthday Mir!

    bleh on circus peanuts just BLEH!

  122. Kristi

    Sweet, sweet, sweet. Happy Birthday, Mir!

  123. Kady

    Awesome Mir deserves awesome Otto! Happy Birthday to Mir!

  124. Kayt

    Happy belated birthday!

  125. Jenne

    Happy birthday Mir! And, since I can’t possible improve on it, ditto #83.

    Have a great day :)

  126. Leah

    I hope you had a fantastic birthday with your very thoughtful husband!

  127. Nancy R

    Happy belated birthday, Mir!

  128. J from Ireland

    Happy belated Birthday Mir. That Otto fella is a blessing. I have been busy so I am catching up weeks of your blog. Best wishes xx

  129. Athalia

    Happy belated. The celebration continues!

  130. Wondering

    You both love Dar?!?! *I* love Dar!! I knew you two were extra special and cool! (Oh, and hippo birdie, Mir!)

  131. Sara

    Happy belated birthday from a very belated commenter! Loved this post. Also loved the one about Licorice and the Interloper–made my evening.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest